In this era of instant information, photographic imagery is stimulating unprecedented change in the way we communicate. As the boundaries between art and mainstream media continue to expand and blur, CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence gives us an opportunity to critically examine this phenomenon. The festival acknowledges the all-encompassing role photography plays in…

In this era of instant information, photographic imagery is stimulating unprecedented change in the way we communicate. As the boundaries between art and mainstream media continue to expand and blur, CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence gives us an opportunity to critically examine this phenomenon. The festival acknowledges the all-encompassing role photography plays in our lives, and challenges audiences to explore how it informs and transforms our experience of the world.

The writings of Marshall McLuhan, the renowned Canadian media theorist, provide a timely focus for CONTACT’s theme. As with so many of McLuhan’s groundbreaking ideas, his critical insights in relation to photography appear all the more relevant in the age of the Internet and Globalization. The transformation of the way images are created and consumed and the impact of their ubiquity intensifies the enormous influence images have on society.

We are pleased to present three primary exhibitions this year, each of them referencing texts by McLuhan as their framework and their title. The Mechanical Bride at the Museum of Contemporary Canadian Art (MOCCA) looks at the social and cultural affect of images and their emotional and political implications. In a show that is seductive and critically provocative, photo-based works reveal vital connections between mass media, advertising, painting and photography. At the University of Toronto Art Centre, The Brothel Without Walls is an evocative reflection upon McLuhan’s description of photographs as “dreams that money can buy”. From a behindthe-scenes perspective, the exhibition highlights the construction of celebrity and fantasy. Thirty years after his death, McLuhan’s legacy is felt more directly in Through the Vanishing Point at UofT’s McLuhan Program in Culture and Technology. Archival materials are transformed to re-create the experience of McLuhan’s presence in the space, reanimating his spirit and the intensity of the seminars he led there.

A tremendous expansion of CONTACT’s public installations includes site-specific projects at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Brookfield Place, MOCCA, Pearson Airport, The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery, and on billboards and subway platforms. McLuhan’s insights concerning the persuasive powers of mass media resonate throughout these works. Appropriating the codes of advertising, the language of consumerism and the force of propaganda, the installations subvert the mediated message in the urban landscape.

The emphasis of CONTACT this year has been guided by a reading of McLuhan and our 32 featured exhibitions at venues throughout Toronto provide a multi-faceted exploration of the festival theme. A wide range of practices reveal the affect of the medium of photography, and the change that it provokes. Whether presenting realist-based or conceptual approaches to image making, all of the artists, including many in our open exhibitions, reflect on the relationship between photography as an art form and its function in mainstream media.

Perhaps after engaging with a number of the exhibitions in CONTACT, the answers to some of the questions central to the festival theme will be exposed: Has the authority of the photograph been enhanced over time? Are the illusions images create now preferable to reality? CONTACT 2010: Pervasive Influence explores the personal and social consequences of photography, in a world devoted to the image.

2010 Public Installation
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (It), 2010 (details). Courtesy of the artist
AGO
May 1–August 30,  2010

Barbara Kruger
Untitled (It)

2010 Public Installation
DOYON-RIVEST, Le siècle des lumières, 2008 - 2010
May 1–31,  2010

Doyon-Rivest
Le siècle des lumières

2010 Public Installation
Olaf Breuning, Good News, Bad News, 2008 Courtesy of the Artist and Metro Pictures
May 1–September 12,  2010

Olaf Breuning
Good News Bad News

2010 Juried Call
Jakub Dolejš, Escape to West Germany, 1972, 2002
April 29–May 29,  2010

Survey 2002 – 2007 / Homeless • Home / Familia Lavandria • Family Laundry

2010 Juried Call
Steve Carty, Lightpainting Series - Jon Todd, 2009 creative direction: Steve Carty
May 6–31,  2010

Group Exhibition
Hermann & Audrey

2010 Juried Call
Glen Baxter, Azerbaijan, 2009
May 1–31,  2010

Glen Baxter
Right To Play – Azerbaijan, 2009

2010 Juried Call
Adam Harrison, 01. Palette, 2009 All images courtesy of the artist and Clark & Faria, Toronto
April 15–May 16,  2010

Adam Harrison
La Notte on a Laptop

2010 Juried Call
Jodi Bieber, Brenda, From the series Real Beauty, 2008 Jodi Bieber/INSTITUTE
May 1–31,  2010

Lauren Greenfield, Jodi Bieber, Zed Nelson
The Skin you Love to Touch

2010 Juried Call
Thaddeus Holownia, Bonaventure River, Gaspe PQ, 2004 Courtesy: Corkin Gallery
May 1–31,  2010

Thaddeus Holownia
Silver Ghost

2010 Juried Call
Berend Strik, The Radiant, 2007 courtesy of Stephane Simoens contemporary fine art
April 21–June 19,  2010

Group Exhibition
You May Feel Something

2010 Juried Call
Zwelethu Mthethwa, Untitled, 2000 Image courtesy of Dr Kenneth Montague / The Wedge Collection
May 1–29,  2010

Group Exhibition
Always Moving Forward: Contemporary African Photography from The Wedge Collection

2010 Juried Call
Eric Baudelaire, Sugar Water, 2007
May 6–June 5,  2010

Eric Baudelaire
Unfinished Business

2010 Juried Call
Meera Margaret Singh, Grapefruit, 2008
May 1–31,  2010

Meera Margaret Singh
Nightingale

2010 Juried Call
Susana Reisman, Endless Column (after Constantin Brancusi), 2007/2010 Courtesy of Peak Gallery
April 28–May 29,  2010

Susana Reisman
Selective Affinities

2010 Juried Call
Tony Fouhse, Cheryl, Ottawa, from the series USER, Portraits of Crack Addicts, 2008
April 29–May 29,  2010

USER, Portraits of Crack Addicts

2010 Juried Call
Penelope Umbrico, IMG_1705.jpg, from the series Broken Sets / eBay, 2009 Courtesy Penelope Umbrico and P/M Gallery, Toronto
April 29–May 30,  2010

Penelope Umbrico
Broken Sets / eBAY

2010 Juried Call
Ruth Kaplan, Brazilian Pentecostal Church, Toronto, 2009
May 12–June 5,  2010

Ruth Kaplan
Some Kind of Divine

2010 Juried Call
Dorothea Lange, Mother in California to be returned with family to Oklahoma by Relief Administration,  March 1937
April 14–May 8,  2010

Group Exhibition
In Her Presence: Selected Photographs by Women from the Mira Godard Research Centre, Ryerson University

2010 Juried Call
Willis T. Lee, Tapestry Wall in the Dome Room, Carlsbad Cavern National Monument, New Mexico, 1924 National Geographic Society / Courtesy of Stephen Bulger Gallery
May 1–June 5,  2010

The Pervasive View: Vintage Prints from the National Geographic Image Collection

2010 Juried Call
Patty Carroll, Doughnuts , Miami, FL, 2002
May 1–30,  2010

Patty Carroll, Mary Farmilant, Jennifer Greenburg
REWind

2010 Juried Call
Dominic Nahr, Untitled from Haiti est Mort, January 24, 2010,
May 1–31,  2010

Group Exhibition
Subjective

2010 Juried Call
,
May 1–29,  2010

Marina Black
The VERSTS (Версты)

2010 Open Call
Michele Taras, Preservation of Innocence, 2010
May 4–29,  2010

Parts of the Whole

2010 Open Call
Meghan Rennie, Untitled, 2010
May 6–26,  2010

Meghan Rennie
We’re so Much Alike, We Must be Brothers

2010 Open Call
Frank Seiferth, Minus 45 - Arctic Expedition on a dog sled through the land of ice and snow, 2007
May 1–31,  2010

Frank Seiferth
Minus 45 – Through the land of Ice and Snow: Arctic Expedition on a dog sled

2010 Open Call
Osheen Harruthoonyan, Aurora, 2010
May 1–30,  2010

Osheen Harruthoonyan
Nocturna Artificialia

2010 Open Call
Richelle Forsey, ,
May 1–29,  2010

Group Exhibition
The Poetry of Chance

2010 Open Call
Anne Bayin, The Liberty Project, 2010 Anne Bayin
May 15–27,  2010

Group Exhibition
The World is Not Flat

2010 Open Call
Jamie Olsen, Untitled, 2009
April 29–May 12,  2010

Sheridan College Applied Photography Students
To Be Determined

2010 Open Call
Jennifer Meza, August Sky, 2009
May 1–July 2,  2010

Group Exhibition
Made You Look! Eight Young Photographers Document Their Neighbourhood.

2010 Open Call
Andre Petterson, Sum 2, 2009
May 1–15,  2010

Group Exhibition
Altered

2010 Open Call
Zoe Jaremus, Crooked Heart, 2009
May 1–15,  2010

Zoë Jaremus
At This Moment

2010 Open Call
,
May 10–28,  2010

Group Exhibition
Pervasive Influence

2010 Open Call
,
April 30–May 28,  2010

Group Exhibition
Pervasive Influence

2010 Open Call
Daniel Vasek, Locked Out, 2009
May 6–June 1,  2010

Bendale Business and Technical Institute Students
I Am Bendale

2010 Open Call
Christina Gapic, Feeding Birds on the Ganges River, 2007
April 28–May 30,  2010

Christina Gapic
Untitled

2010 Open Call
Lexi Mitz (ilexi), Yesterday, 2007
May 1–31,  2010

Lexi Mitz (ilexi)
Deep in Malawi; Mwandama Village Uncovered

2010 Open Call
William Szigeti, Robyn, 2009
May 2–31,  2010

William Szigeti, Ted Buck
My Shot in the Dark / Musical Muse

2010 Open Call
Jade Lee Portelli, Coney Island, 2006
May 1–June 6,  2010

Emma McIntyre, Jade Lee Portelli
Before and After After

2010 Open Call
Robert Sprachman, Satyr in the Woods, 2009
May 1–31,  2010

Robert Sprachman
Pampas Crawl & Other Stories

2010 Open Call
Felicity Somerset, Tidal Remnants #4, 2009
May 1–30,  2010

Felicity Somerset
Tidal Remnants

2010 Open Call
Marilyn Cornwell, Dahlia in Orange, 2009
May 1–31,  2010

Marilyn Cornwell
Flowerography

2010 Open Call
Kirsten White, 49 Essex, 2009
May 1–June 30,  2010

Group Exhibition
Thru the Roots

2010 Open Call
Erica Pratt, Le Douhet, France, 2009
April 29–May 30,  2010

Erica Pratt
Laissez La Porte Ouverte

2010 Open Call
Holly, 2009  © peggy lampotang
May 1–31,  2010

Peggy Lampotang
Canadian Women Revealed

2010 Open Call
Brandon TItaro, Soft Box, 2010
May 11–29,  2010

OCAD Graduating Students
OCAD 2010 Photo Thesis Show

2010 Open Call
Peter Hill, Untitled (4946), 2010
May 13–June 6,  2010

Peter Hill
Genesis and the Mapping of Memory

2010 Open Call
Brent Lewin, Street Elephant Cola, Age 24, 2009
May 1–31,  2010

Brent Lewin
The Elephant In The Room

2010 Open Call
Ana Kapodistria, Savannah Red, 2009 © A.Kapodistria
May 1–16,  2010

Ana Kapodistria, Amanda Arcuri
Visceral Landscapes

2010 Open Call
Rodrigo Moreno, Untitled, 2009
May 19–June 19,  2010

Rodrigo Moreno
2011 Toronto Tree Calendar

2010 Open Call
Douglas Ganton, Oil Storage Tanks, 2008
May 12–23,  2010

Group Exhibition
Visible Vestiges

2010 Open Call
Brenda Hoffert, In Line, 2010 © 2010 Brenda Hoffert
April 29–May 30,  2010

Brenda Hoffert
Shoes

2010 Open Call
Mathew Merrett	, Automotive Industry Collapse, 2009
April 29–May 30,  2010

Group Exhibition
Relinquished

2010 Open Call
Matt Tammaro, Brent (Branden's cottage), 2009
April 29–May 1,  2010

Ryerson University School of Image Arts Students
Maximum Exposure

2010 Open Call
Katia Houde, and we created them in our own image, 2009
May 6–19,  2010

Group Exhibition
Exposed: Pervasive Infuence

2010 Open Call
Drasko Bogdanovic, Orland, 2009
May 7–31,  2010

Drasko Bogdanovic
Persuasion Of Men

2010 Open Call
Jessika Jaime, Untitled, 2010
May 1–30,  2010

Rosedale Heights School of the Arts Students
Sway

2010 Open Call
Ruth Hartman, Reflection, 2009
May 1–29,  2010

Ruth Hartman
LENS – Looking Everywhere, No Secrets